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Has anyone had gallstones ?

(12 Posts)
catsmother Mon 30-Jan-06 13:44:31

I know you will all tell me to go the doctors .... which I am trying to arrange asap, but in the meantime, I have been researching my symptoms on the net and have "concluded" it's likely I have gallstones.

In the past month, I have had 3 "attacks" of dreadful pain, like an excrutiating stitch just under my bust, between the ribs and in the centre of my upper abdomen. This has started as a dull ache but gets progressively worse over the 3-4 hours that it lasts - so much so I cry from the pain. Nothing relieves it, I just pace up and down sobbing. I also feel terribly nauseous and at some point during the 4 hours am violently sick till I'm just throwing up bile.

This happened 1st on Xmas Day, so put it down to stuffing my face with all sorts of rich heavy food, but has also happened twice more since, including last night. My eyes are still terribly sore from crying so much.

I also suffer from IBS, but this is an entirely different type of pain, and I didn't need the loo.

Has anyone else had gallstones ? And if so, do my symptoms sound familiar ?

What will the doctor recommend if it is that ? Can they be treated with drugs, or do you have to have an op ?

SorenLorensen Mon 30-Jan-06 13:52:09

Yes my Mum had them - they are agonisingly painful. She has had two heart attacks and suffers from angina - she said the pain is very like angina (apparently angina is sometimes misdiagnosed as gallstones or vice versa). Afaik, they can only be removed with surgery - but I think you can also have them blasted with a kind of laser which breaks them up. Until you can get to the doctors (which yes, you must do asap!) you should follow a low fat diet - an attack generally follows eating fatty/rich foods.

WigWamBam Mon 30-Jan-06 13:57:43

My MIL had gallstones and suffered in almost exactly the same way you describe. Every time she ate anything remotely fatty, she would be in agony within a few hours with pain underneath the ribs in her chest and abdomen, and vomiting. The first time she had it she thought she was having a heart attack as the pain can also spread into the shoulders and down the arm.

She was initially given a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet to follow, but it didn't give her much relief (I suspect that was partly because she cheated and didn't stick to it). Some people do find that they can control it well with a low-fat diet, though.

You will probably be sent for blood tests and a scan to confirm the diagnosis, and they may be able to tell from that whether you will be able to control it by diet, or if you will need treatment. Depending on the size of the stones you may be offered treatment to dissolve the stones, or you may be recommended to have the gall bladder removed, which is what happened to my MIL eventually.

The operation was very simple and straightforward, she had keyhole surgery, was up and out of bed the same day, and was home causing her usual mayhem two days after having it done. She has had no further attacks, although I understand that sometimes people can continue to get stones which can cause problems in the bile ducts.

edgetop Mon 30-Jan-06 14:56:40

i had them about 12 years ago, went to the drs he sent me for a scan, i had keyhole surgery, in hospital 2 nights, i only had 2 stiches. its great after no more pain. dont worry its soon over. after when they gave me a jar with my stones in i couldnt beleive it there were about between 40 or 50 small stones.i dont know what the waiting time is these days!your smmptoms are the same as i had.i think when you have a scan they will decide if you need drugs or a hop.

jalopy Mon 30-Jan-06 17:55:15

Poor you, catsmother. yes, it does sound like gallstones. It's really awful, isn't it?
I believe you can have it treated conservatively with drugs but I think the most effective treatment is to have the gallbladder removed. I, too, had mine removed by keyhole surgery. Post operatively it was uncomfortable for a few days but after that everything was fine.

Carmenere Mon 30-Jan-06 18:03:24

I had Gall stones and keyhole surgery to remove them last year. Yes your symptoms do sound like you have them and if I were you I would go to the doctors asap. You need to be aware that if the stones move around they can block the pancreatic duct and put you at risk of pancreatitus which is very serious. The surgery is very straightforward these days and to my mind well worth it as the pain I felt was excruciating. Steer clear of all fats as these can aggrivate your gallstones. Try to eat nothing with a fat content of over 5%. Good luck and you have my deepest sympathy as they are one of the most unpleasant things I have experienced.

Caligula Mon 30-Jan-06 18:17:22

Also, eat a granny smith apple a day. I don't know why gs, but there's something in them which is good for gallstones that's not in other varieties of apple. And artichoke is supposed to be good. And avoid onions, which is a bummer on a low fat diet, but there's something in them which can bring on an attack, so I was told.

The good thing about it is that you lose loads of weight, because there's nothing like total total agony to motivate you not to eat fat. But get to the docs soon because if you don't get it treated, it can lead to pancreatitis, very dangerous.

The only thing I found that worked with the pain apart from morphine or pethadine, was dope - smoking it goes straight into your bloodstream and has a similar effect to pethidine in that it doesn't actually take the pain away, but it sort of distances you from it so it's not so bad. Also, lying in a very very hot bath (the hottest you can physically stand) with an icepack on your face to stop you fainting. Remember the dope's not an option if you're going to be driving though.

catsmother Tue 31-Jan-06 09:51:05

Thanks for all the responses .... forgot to say too that when these attacks come on the painful area noticeably swells as well.

The irony is that until fairly recently I was doing the WW No Count diet which is very low in fat. Now I am really scared about eating anything as I am frightened of bringing another attack on.

Have a Doctor's appointment Thursday morning.

(Why didn't I think of the really hot bath when I was pacing up and down the cold bathroom on Sun night ??!!)

yossa Tue 31-Jan-06 12:29:45

i started suffering with gallstones when pg with ds1. at first dr kept sying indigestion. it was the most painful thing i have ever had. worse than the subsequent chidbirth! i kept drinking milk thinking it was awful indigestion but that made it worse. was taken into hosp for a week as got pancreatitis. luckily have private healthcare through work so got gallbladder removed 3 mths after ds born.think there is quite a long wait on nhs, have heard horror stories of people suffering for months. unless you have suffered you cannot understand the absolute agony of the pain. made me scared to eat and thoroughly depressed. actually ruined first 3 mths with my son as i was so frightened of when the pain was going to come again. could never really predict what would trigger it so became scared to eat atall. at least lost me pg weight quite easily. have just read other thread about gallstone in bile duct 2 years after gallbladder removed - now scared as thought would never feel that pain again

Kittypickle Tue 31-Jan-06 12:36:23

I've got it too and it is completely excruciating. I've found buscopan which is an anti-spasmodic helps as does codeine. I need to make another appointment at the doctors as I think I need referring for the surgery now. Stress makes mine much worse I've found.

Waitedsolong Sun 14-May-17 17:23:41

Hi can anyone advise what I should do please.Ive had these issues for over 8 months so went private .had lots of tests and c.t scan last week found gallstones but my urine is now very still in pain both side and back but I'm passing small amounts of blood too now when I wipe my urine area

Aquamarine1029 Wed 17-May-17 21:00:13

You can have gallbladder problems without having stones. My gallbladder was at 5% functionality which means it basically wasn't working at all. I got mine removed this past December and I've felt great.

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